Golf Channel founder inducted into AHSOF

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It’s been 18 years since Joseph E. Gibbs began his friendship with legendry golfer Arnold Palmer – a friendship that would eventually lead to the founding of The Golf Channel and help pave the way for the promotion of the game.

“Getting to know Arnold is when I realized how great this game is,” Gibbs told in 2005.

That dedication to the promotion of golf helped earn Gibbs the honor of being named the 2008 Distinguished American Sportsman by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He was one of nine inducted into the ASHOF on Saturday.

Gibbs’ relationship with Palmer began in August 1990 when he offered to host a professional golfer at his Shoal Creek home for the PGA Championship. Palmer and his late wife Winnie were the ones who showed up.

Gibbs and Palmer held a press conference in February 1993 to announce the creation of The Golf Channel.

The channel made its debut in January 1995 with less than 1,000 subscribers, but now is available to more than 70 million viewers in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Segments of The Golf Channel are also being distributed to other countries throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

Gibbs sold his interest in TGC in 2001 and started a venture capital company named Gibbs Investments LLC. He also serves on the board of directors of Convergys Corporation.

Inductees for the ASHOF Class of 2008 from the Old Timers Category are Sim Byrd (football) and Jerry Wilson (football). Modern Category inductees are: Gregg Carr (football), Condredge Holloway (football), Steve Lowery (golf), Don Mincher (baseball), Don McNeal (football) and Oliver Robinson (basketball).

Since 1969, the ASHOF has inducted 275 honorees